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St. Joseph’s expects to close NYHC acquisition before May 6

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

St. Joseph’s Health has reached an agreement to acquire the New York Heart Center (NYHC), a Syracuse–based cardiology practice. It also has locations in Cicero, Oswego, Watertown, Auburn, Gouverneur, and Pulaski. In the deal, St. Joseph’s Health acquires NYHC’s seven locations and 99 employees, including its 11 cardiologists. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN file photo)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — St. Joseph’s Health plans to acquire a Syracuse–based cardiology practice with nearly 100 employees.

The local health system on March 29 announced it has reached an agreement to acquire the New York Heart Center (NYHC).

“We anticipate a closing before May 6,” says Dr. Joseph Spinale, chief medical officer at St. Joseph’s Health.

The organizations didn’t release any financial terms of the acquisition agreement.

St. Joseph’s Health’s top executive says the acquisition is a move toward better coordinating cardiac care and becoming more efficient.

“It’s very important as the region’s number one cardiology health system that we have a coordinated approach to cardiology care,” says Leslie Luke, president and CEO. “One of the reasons why we want that is because it enables us to keep focusing on improving quality as well as drive down costs, which are the two key components of value-based purchasing, where health care is going … Essentially, it allows us to create more efficiencies, a better patient experience … do a number of other things within the system that we otherwise could not do if they [NYHC] remained independent.”

Luke and Spinale spoke with CNYBJ in a telephone conference call on April 2. In the interview, CNYBJ also inquired as to how St. Joseph’s Health would finance the acquisition.

“We use capital funds. Some of it comes from Trinity Health,” says Luke.

St. Joseph’s Health is a member of Livonia, Michigan–based Trinity Health, which, on its website, describes itself as “one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health-care delivery systems in the nation.” 

Leslie Luke

The New York Heart Center as a “key strategic partner” of St. Joseph’s Health, according to Spinale.

“The formal union of both organizations is a decisive and major step in the creation of a sustainable best-in-class cardiology practice given the complexities of the business of health care, alternative Medicare payment models and the uncertainties of reform. Together, we will enhance care in new ways that improve quality and outcomes for heart patients across Central and Northern New York,” he said in a March 29 news release announcing the acquisition.

In the conference-call interview, Spinale noted that the acquisition would be in keeping with a trend for cardiology practices.

Joseph Spinale

“That a majority of cardiology practices throughout the country now are employed by a hospital or a health system,” says Spinale.

About NYHC

NYHC, founded in 1983, offers services for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of heart conditions. It has worked with St. Joseph’s Health and other local hospitals and health systems to provide “streamlined care for patients” at each of its seven locations in Syracuse, Cicero, Oswego, Watertown, Auburn, Gouverneur, and Pulaski.

“We will assume those leases and operations,” says Spinale. “For those that are in our partner hospital locations, such as Auburn [Memorial Hospital], we will certainly be working with the hospitals where they exist.”

NYHC’s 99 employees, including its 11 cardiologists, will now join St. Joseph’s Health as part of the acquisition.

Most of the cardiologists are partners in the group that owns the New York Heart Center, according to Spinale.

NYHC serves more than 40,000 patients a year, according to St. Joseph’s Health.

Dr. Eugene Lozner, president of the New York Heart Center, said the following about the deal, “Aligning with the region’s leader in cardiovascular care gives our patients even greater access to physicians, nurses and cardiac technicians who consistently care for more patients than any other provider in the region.”

Lozner will be a staff cardiologist with St. Joseph’s Physicians Cardiology.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com